Themes: hard times, addiction, Kentucky

Lyrics

Song Title: Down in East Kentucky
(Key of D minor)

Instrumentation:
Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Mandolin, Pedal Steel, Upright Bass

Chord Progression
Intro: 1111 1111 1111 1111
Verse 1: 1111 775emaj5maj 1111 5maj5maj5(7)5(7) 1111 7755 1155 1111
Chorus 1: 7777 1111 1111 555(7)5(7) 1111 7755 1155 1111 1111
Break: [Verse/Chorus]
Outro: 1111 1111 1111 1111

Lyrics:
[Intro]
Verse 1:
As the sun burns off the early morning dew
Black coffee and rolled cigarettes to wake my mind
The school bus drives by to take the little ones to school
And the miners all rise out of the mines

Well the birds they’re all gone there’s no song in the air
And the leaves have all crumbled into earth
Them babies are cold but their stories won’t be told
Until we lay their bodies in the dirt

Chorus 1:
And I can hear the whistle blowing and them coal trucks stripping gears
As the wind sings a mountain’s mournful cries
My family’s working poor, my friends are all junkies
And I’m down in East Kentucky

[Bridge 1111 1111 1111 1111]

Verse 2:
Well my daddy worked for years in them Martin County Mines
And he did so with dignity and pride
His skin had deep black cracks that run like coal seams through his face
And when he’d smile his eyes would show his pain inside

I recall when he’d come home with a face as dark as night
And a tremble that seeped up from his soul
He’d press me to his chest and when his heart pounded through my body
I swore I’d never bury myself in that hole

Chorus 2:
And I can hear the whistle blowing and them coal trucks stripping gears
As the wind sings a mountain’s mournful cries
My family’s working poor, my friends are all junkies
And I’m down in East Kentucky

[Break: 1st half Mandolin, 2nd half Pedal Steel]

Verse 3:
I wonder what will be lost in the story of this land
When all this degradation finally subsides
When our coal is all gone and all those greedy bastards too
You know the damage will be far worse than we realize

When the echoes from the past that rang through valleys deep and wide
All get covered up with one sweep of that dragline
Let’em know we dug coal for our children and our wives
But shed a tear for all the scares we leave behind

Chorus 3:
And I can hear the whistle blowing and them coal trucks stripping gears
As the wind sings a mountain’s mournful cries
My family’s working poor, my friends are all junkies
And I’m down in East Kentucky

[Out]